A Year Outside in Newfoundland Labrador

It’s the people, of course, that most make a place interesting or beautiful or feel like home. But if I try to capture even the highlights of spending time with the people we’re getting to know here, this post will never get written. So instead, now that we’ve celebrated just over a year of living in Newfoundland Labrador, I’m going to share some of our hiking experiences since we’ve arrived.

One of our reasons (besides opportunities to serve) for moving here is our desire to live in a beautiful place and spend a lot of time outdoors. We have not been disappointed, and the people are wonderful too.

August 2020

Since we arrived August 1, 2020, our first outdoor experiences were like this one, captured on my Garmin:

Laps of the rectory yard in Pasadena

That’s right–quarantine, for fourteen days, and sticking to the rectory yard. But that gave us time to order this book, which is a super guide to hiking in Newfoundland:

When quarantine was over, we headed first to St David’s Church building (next door) so we could see what the church looked like on the inside. Then we drove to Gros Morne Park and hiked the Lookout Trail, that starts behind the Park’s Discovery Centre. The views were beautiful.

We knew we had reached the top when we came to the viewing platform and the park’s iconic pair of pink chairs.

Another great hike we did early on was Bottle Cove and Southhead Lighthouse Trails.

We also hiked the beautiful Green Gardens Trail in Gros Morne National Park, where we enjoyed the beautiful views of the water

Joe on the Green Gardens Trail

and discovering, to our delight, that a flock of sheep get to spend the summer enjoying such a beautiful National Park.

Sheep at Green Gardens

September 2020

A couple of September highlights were the trail system in Corner Brook

Such a pretty place, right in town

and the Trout River Pond Trail in Gros Morne

We were happy to have such a nice place to sit and take in the view before heading back to where we began.

October 2020

In October we enjoyed hiking the Lomond River Trail in Gros Morne

After hiking along the Lomond River, we took the road back to our car and got this gorgeous vista.

and getting to see the leaf colors change in our neighborhood.

A path down to Deer Lake in Pasadena

We took our first trip to Western Brook Pond on (Canadian) Thanksgiving Day. Spectacular!

We also went to King’s Point and enjoyed the Alexander Murray Hiking Trail and our first snowfall in NL.

The trail is well marked, including with these informative guides:

The view from the highest point:

November 2020

A little more snow, but everyone says this was the mildest winter they can remember.

Rev Joe makes a way.

We really enjoyed the Cow Head Lighthouse Trail.

This wonderful trail had views out to the sea and back to the Long Range Mountains.

We were very excited to see this herd of caribou in Cormack on our drive back from Sir Richard Squires Memorial Provincial Park.

Caribou in a field in Cormack

December 2020

A couple of December hiking highlights were the Coastal Trail in Gros Morne

Joe on the Coastal Trail

We really enjoyed the Tablelands Walk Trail on a bright, crisp day at the end of the month.

January 2021

In January, we hiked part of the Great Trail near Howley and saw where moose were introduced to Newfoundland in 1904.

Joe waves hello from the trail.
The moose is not life size.

February 2021

We loved exploring the snowshoe trails of the Pasadena Cross Country Ski and Nature Park! (We received park passes as a Christmas gift from the parish–so thoughtful!)

We also enjoyed snowshoeing at Gros Morne.

Snowshoeing at Gros Morne

March 2021

March took us to Western Brook Pond again.

Joe at Western Brook Pond
Someone is way more intrepid than we are.

April 2021

In April the snow was gone. We went back to Trout River Pond and hiked the Old Man in the Mountain Trail, part of the International Appalachian Trail not far from Pasadena.

Joe at Trout River Pond.
One of the International Appalachian Trail Markers
Joe at the top of the Old Man in the Mountain. If you follow the road you can see (The Trans Canada Highway) off to the left (east), you’ll get to Pasadena.

May 2021

A couple of highlights from May were Harry’s Harbour Trail (Trail with a View) near King’s Point and our parish hike to Baker’s Brook Falls in Gros Morne.

Joe at Starkes’ Cove on the Trail with a View
The parish hike group (minus Woody King who took the picture).

June 2021

In June we took our annual study break and went to the Northern Peninsula. We stayed near L’Anse aux Meadows and saw the National Historic Site, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is an archaeological site of a Norse settlement dating to about 1000 CE. When it was time to set our books aside, we went for beautiful hikes in the area. We found out that the northern terminus of the International Appalachian Trail was within walking distance of our cabin.

Re-creation of a Norse longhouse at L’Anse aux Meadows
Muddy moose hoofprints on a boardwalk on Treena’s Trail
One of many beautiful coves in the Northern Peninsula, this one on Treena’s Trail

July 2021

Two highlights from July: Wednesday Walks with St David’s and our trip to Labrador. A lovely group of parishioners walks together on Wednesday evenings. It’s been a great way to get to visit, outside with space to physical distance, beautiful scenery, and some spiritual refreshment too.

St. David’s Wednesday Walkers in Pasadena

Our first year in Newfoundland Labrador ended with a trip to Labrador. We were so excited to get to take the ferry from St. Barbe to Blanc Sablon and walk on the Labrador Pioneer Footpath. We covered most of the trail from L’Anse au Clair to Pinware. I’ll share pictures of those hikes in another post. Here’s one from the hike from Forteau to L’Anse au Clair.

Joe on the way to L’Anse au Clair.

We are so grateful to live in such a beautiful place. We made a commitment to get out one day a week and explore and enjoy, no matter the weather. Thankfully, the weather has been really quite nice in every season. We’re looking forward to seeing more of this province.

This post hasn’t focused on the people we’ve met, but we’re so grateful to them too. Thanks to the people of St David’s Anglican Church in Pasadena and St George’s Anglican Church in Cormack, to the Bishop of the Diocese of Western Newfoundland, the Rt. Rev. John Organ, and the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, the Rt. Rev. Eugene Sutton, for the opportunity to serve here.

    1. Thanks Jean and Harry. Blessed to be able to be outdoors so much during this pandemic. God is good! Blessings, Joe and Amy

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  1. Very nice pictures and review of your first year in Newfoundland and Labrador. We are so happy to have you and hope you stay and enjoy our beautiful province.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I could almost track you to these mountaintops. Found my.leg muscles flexing as sometimes happens when I watch good ballet. What great hikes. I love accompanying you in my imagination. Thank you for sharing this blessing from God.

    Liked by 1 person

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